Keir Starmer Wouldn’t Repeal ‘Morally Unacceptable’ Illegal Migration Bill
Labour says its migration plans would not require repeal of the law – which has been condemned by the Archbishop of Canterbury as immoral, reports Adam Bienkov
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Keir Starmer is not planning to repeal the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill, his spokesman told Byline Times on Wednesday, saying that it would not be “necessary” to do so in order to implement its own plans on migration.
The bill, which was today condemned by the Archbishop of Canterbury as “morally unacceptable”, allows for anyone arriving in the UK by small boat to be detained and deported to a third country such as Rwanda.
Labour has opposed the legislation in the House of Commons but today declined to back a Liberal Democrat amendment seeking to squash it in the House of Lords, saying that doing so would only lead to the Government using the Parliament Act to force it through the Lords.
Asked by Byline Times if Labour plans to repeal the bill if it forms the next government, Starmer’s spokesman said that it would not be “necessary” to do so.
“We have set our own comprehensive plan for how we would deal with the Channel crossings and we’ll be looking forward to bringing our own legislation through when we’re in government”, Starmer’s spokesman said.
“When you bring in new legislation, it often can involve sort of dealing with the predecessor legislation that there is. It doesn’t automatically mean it is necessary to repeal existing legislation to introduce your own legislation.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury condemned the bill, telling the House of Lords that “it us morally unacceptable, and politically impractical, to let the poorest countries deal with [the refugee crisis] alone”.
Labour has previously described the Illegal Migration Bill as “unworkable” and suggested that it would instead focus on tackling human trafficking gangs. However, the party has previously resisted calls to condemn the morality of the Government’s plans.
Starmer’s spokesman also said on Wednesday that the Labour Leader would not back repealing the Public Order Bill, which allowed for the arrests of republican protestors before King Charles III’s Coronation, saying that it was important for the legislation to be allowed to “bed in” before being dealt with by new “guidance”.
Starmer told the BBC that he would support police retaining current powers, but added that “just because there’s a power for police to do something, doesn’t mean they have to do it in every situation”.
The comments come as the Labour Leader comes under pressure from the left of his party to back full repeal of the Government’s anti-protest and anti-asylum legislation. The Momentum group today published motions it plans to support at this year’s Labour Conference, calling for the Illegal Migration and Public Order Bills to be fully repealed.